Julian Nagelsmann challenges Niklas Süle to become a key player at Borussia Dortmund

Niklas Süle. (Photo by Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/Getty Images)
Niklas Süle. (Photo by Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/Getty Images) /

Julian Nagelsmann has praised Niklas Süle but has also called on him to have the ambition to play a key role for Borussia Dortmund to improve his chances of playing for Germany.

Niklas Süle has not enjoyed the best of starts to this season, with both Nico Schlotterbeck and Mats Hummels ahead of him in the pecking order for centre-backs at Borussia Dortmund. The former Bayern Munich midfielder has been limited to just four starts so far this season, and has found playing time hard to come by in recent weeks.

Despite his lack of minutes, Süle still managed to earn a call-up to the Germany squad for this month’s international break. And head coach Julian Nagelsmann had his say on the centre-back during Monday’s press conference ahead of Germany’s friendly match against Mexico.

Nagelsmann praised Süle for his performances in training, but also challenged him to develop into a key player for Borussia Dortmund in the coming months.

"“He was outstanding in the eleven-a-side [on Monday]. There he played like a number ten and did some things he wouldn’t do in a game,” Nagelsmann said (via WAZ).“I have the feeling that he can play with more freedom. But he doesn’t have an easy situation in Dortmund.”“He has to get to his top performance in Dortmund, I also told him that. Niklas should also have the ambition to be an absolute mainstay in Dortmund – not just simply along for the ride. If he has a leading role in Dortmund, there’s no reason why he can’t have one in the Germany national team as well.”"

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With games set to come thick and fast after the international break, Niklas Süle will certainly get more playing time for Borussia Dortmund. But it will be up to him to make the most of his opportunity and show why he deserves to be a regular starter for both club and country.